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Govt considers cross-regional agency on air pollution around Beijing | Updated: 2017-11-02 16:44

China's environmental authorities have agreed in principle to pilot a cross-regional agency on air pollution in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and neighboring areas, 21st Century Business Herald reported Thursday.

Liu Youbin, an official with the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), said Tuesday at a news conference that relevant work is underway, the newspaper reported.

Liu said the agreement was reached at a meeting of the ministry in September.

Though Liu did not specify when such an agency will be set up, an expert with the ministry said it will likely be established within this year, according to the newspaper.

The idea to set up an integrated air management mechanism was first put forward in August, when 10 ministries and commissions including MEP and six province-level regions (Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan) jointly issued an action plan to address air pollution in areas around Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei for autumn and winter from 2017 to 2018.

According to the action plan, the preparation for the establishment of the air administration should be preliminarily completed and it should be put into test run by the end of Sept, aiming to improve cross-regional coordination, management and supervision in controlling air pollution and achieve integrated pollution prevention and control.

The air administration was part of the efforts made by the MEP to improve air quality and prevent smog.

According to Liu, the average density of PM2.5 in 28 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and nearby areas went down 4.6 percent year on year to 62 micrograms per cubic meter from Oct 1 to Oct 27.

The MEP said it will continue to step up measures to control air pollution to reach the targets set for this winter.

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